Although newspapers have more readers than ever because of the Internet, circulation of the profitable printed product continues a steady decline. Revenue streams are drying up and the corporate-run media's answer is to cut its way to back to prosperity. In the meantime, good people are leaving the newspaper biz at an alarming rate.
On Monday, Wendell Barnhouse announced that at the end of this week, his run at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is over.
"After 36 years, 23 Final Fours, all 10 Bowl Championship Series title games and a half-dozen laptops, I'm done," he writes.
"I will begin working as a writer/blogger for the Big 12 Conference web site (so I'll need laptop No. 7). The Big 12 wants its web site to convey information about its schools in both video and story form. I'll be somewhat involved with the former and heavily involved with the latter. It's a great opportunity that I’m lucky to have considering the death spiral of major newspapers.
"McClatchy, which bought Knight-Ridder (and the Star-Telegram) a few years ago, is $2 billion in debt. Slicing $70 million in payroll, as it did recently by sacking 10 percent of its work force, doesn't make much of a dent in that debt. My job was safe. However, after two decades of covering national college basketball and more than a decade covering national college football, there is no travel budget for either sport. My assignment, had I stayed, would have been the Texas A&M beat. Nothing against the Aggies, but it was clearly time to bail out."
We wish Wendell continued successes in cyberspace. His weekly conference calls column was must-link material here on the Wiz.